Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Thoughts on a Critical Pedagogy Workshop (upcoming)

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So I have been asked to give a workshop on Critical pedagogy. Which I have done before as a short 1-2 hour session. But this time I was asked to do a full day and I feel a little overwhelmed. Even though critical pedagogy was important in my dissertation, and informs my daily thinking and practice i.e. my praxis 🙂 I don’t actually know how to give it justice in one day. And i don’t know how best to use the luxury and limitations of a full day without extended reflection time in between.

But jotting down some ideas here and hoping anyone reading this who has done an extended critical pedagogy workshop will help me with some ideas

First of all the audience isn’t higher ed or even formal ed. They’re in (I understand) an informal learning situation with adult learners. I will learn more from the person who invited me to do the session but it’s more important to always be aware of my ignorance and use it in the workshop to remind participants about how important it is for teacher to be learner as I will be modeling it honestly.

So… Activity ideas

  1. Humility walk ice-breaker and reflection (I describe it here)
  2. Some small amount of Critical Pedagogy theory (just concepts of social justice and importance of praxis – may try to create an activity that demonstrates difference betw just action or just reflection vs the praxis of combining both)
  3. Visual reflection exercise (unsure which image to use…should be something familiar to their context but which helps with consciousness raising – any suggestions from Egypt welcome!)
  4. Improv theater or role play. Asking participants to recreate or act out semi-fictional situations from their own practice
  5. An identity activity meant to highlight intersectionality
  6. A power mapping exercise where they explore the kinds of power at play in their teaching situations
  7. Discussion of culturally Relevant Pedagogy 
  8. Discussion of curriculum theory and how a critical/empancipatory curriculum is different from others centered on content or outcomes
  9. Open discussion of how difficult critical pedagogy is to implement in practice – using examples from my own teaching and others. Most importantly reflecting on our own intersectionality and triggers and how this may manifest in a classroom if we end up talking about something controversial or stressful
  10. End with individual reflections on their own teaching philosophies and how their previous teaching practices followed their values or not and what needs to change. 

Through it all, I hope to make it meta and to model critical pedagogy in each exercise/segment’s process not just the content. 

Advice and ideas not only welcome, but requested 🙂

4 Comments

  1. This sounds wonderful.

    My first thought on reading over this list / schedule is to wonder if it’s possible to combine activities 4 and 5 or to flip them. Because I think creating a role-play would be incredibly helpful to people coming to an understanding of intersectionality and its role in critical pedagogy.

    I’ve never put on a critical pedagogy workshop, but in talking about it with others (who have mostly been my students) it’s been important for us to get to know each other, not just as an exercise in trust, but also in order to talk about the idea of speaking for ourselves from where we are as an honest place to begin discourse. That one way we learn from each other is by knowing where each of us comes to the discussion from.

    Hope this helps. I will watch how this evolves. 🙂

    • Oh that makes so much sense! Maybe the identity activity could go way earlier. The humility walk introduces issues of trust as well… But maybe the identity activity can be done earlier and now I need to think of how to use it with my introductions activity which will probably have them find commonalities….whereas the identity activity needs to have them dig deep into dimensions of themselves that represent who they are, and some of that can be shared publicly or kept private. Thanks so much Annemarie

  2. See if there are idea sparks from Mariana: http://stillweb.org/2015/online-insight-dialogue/ and participants say the blackout poetry exercise here is very meaningful: https://odnett.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/a-scaffolded-sequential-faculty-development-crosswalk/ your starting text need not be a syllabus. The point is the reflection needed to create the poetry…then share it.

  3. I’m at a residential retreat teaching critical professionalism through comms training and as soon as I’m back at a reliable internet connection later today I’ll share some reflections about what has worked here. But this workshop has brought so many of our conversation to mind Maha — especially never to assume the presence of an Internet connection!

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